Although back pain is common, it can also be caused by sudden numbness, difficulty urinating, weakness in the legs, or a sudden appearance in the genital region, it can be a serious medical emergency. Cauda Equina syndrome is usually caused by a disc herniation at the lower back, which compresses the nerve roots near the end of your spinal cord. These nerves transmit messages from the bladder, bowel and legs. They can become permanently damaged if they are left squeezed too long. Urgent surgery may be necessary to alleviate the pressure and prevent any permanent damage.
Herniated Disc Symptoms
A herniated disc can cause back pain in the lower back. This area is also known as the lumbar spine, lumbar region or lumbar region. These symptoms may occur if you have a herniated disc in this area.
- Lower back pain that is burning, sharp, or achy
- Pain radiating down one leg from the buttocks or lower back
- One leg weakness, tingling, or numbness
A cervical spine or neck slipped disc can cause symptoms such as:
- Headache, particularly in the back of your head
- A burning sensation in the neck or shoulder that can cause pain in one arm
- One arm weakness, tingling, or numbness
- Because they place more pressure on the nerve, sneezing, coughing and sitting down can worsen symptoms.
What is cauda-equina syndrome?
Cauda Equina Syndrome is a rare but serious condition that can have severe consequences if it is not treated quickly. This is usually caused by a large disc herniation at the lower back, which compresses the nerve roots near the end of your spinal cord (Fig. 1). These nerve roots look like the tail of horses and are wrapped together. This is how they got their names. Cauda equina means “horse’s tail” in Latin.
Cauda Equina, unlike most back problems, is not long-standing or chronic. It is an acute event like a stroke, heart attack, or other medical conditions. It usually develops quickly, in as little as six to ten hours. A medical emergency is when you have classic symptoms like back pain and suddenly onset of numbness or urinary retention. It is important to quickly relieve compression so that one can return to a normal lifestyle or live with paralysis and incontinence.
Cauda equina may develop slowly in those with chronic back problems. Cauda equina syndrome, which affects the nerves controlling the bladder, can cause symptoms similar to those associated with bladder or prostate problems.
What are the signs?
Cauda Equina compression can cause problems in the bladder, bowel, and sexual function. Many people experience severe pain in their low backs and buttocks, as well as numbness or tingling in the “saddle” (rectal and genital area and inner thighs). The pain may radiate down the back of your thigh to the foot and calf (sciatica). A person might feel paralysis or weakness in their leg or foot when trying to get up from a chair. Extreme leg weakness or loss of bladder function or bladder function can be signs of an emergency. Seek medical attention immediately.
What are the causes of this?
Cauda Equina Syndrome can be caused by a large-sized ruptured disc. A herniation is when the gel-like center of a spinal disc can burst or rupture through the disc wall. This could compress nerves. The L4-5 and L5-S1 discs of the lumbar spine are the most common sites for disc herniation. Sports injuries, falls, and car accidents can cause the spine to be fractured or tear muscles, causing nerve damage. Another cause is a narrowing or obstruction of the spinal canal (stenosis), tumor, infection, or hemorrhage.
What is the process of diagnosing a condition?
A thorough medical exam will confirm or exclude a suspicion of cauda horseman. A medical history and a physical exam are part of the evaluation. An obvious finding is loss of sensation in anal area. An MRI scan will be performed on a patient with severe leg weakness, numbness or loss of bladder function or bladder function. This will reveal how much the herniation has compressed the spinal nerves. A CT scan or myelogram may also be ordered by the doctor.
What are the available treatments?
Surgery is often necessary for patients suffering from acute cauda-equina syndrome. The purpose of surgery is to relieve pressure from the spinal nerves and restore sensation and muscle function to bladder, bowel and legs. One of the following procedures may be performed depending on the cause:
A discectomy is performed to remove the part of the disc that has been causing nerve compression. A small incision is made in the middle of your back by the surgeon. To expose the bony vertebra, the spinal muscles are removed. To expose the nerve root, and disc, a window of bone is cut. It is carefully removing the portion of the ruptured disc that compresses the spinal nerves.
Spinal decompression is used to treat stenosis. It removes bone spurs and ligaments that compress the nerves. The surgeon makes a small incision in the back. The surgeon will remove the spine canal’s roof bone. To make more space for nerves, the surgeon will remove soft tissue and bone spurs. Other lesions, such as tumors, can also be removed.
Clinical trials are research studies that test new treatments, such as diagnostics and procedures, on people to determine if they work and if they are safe. To improve medical care, research is ongoing. You can find information about current clinical trials on the Internet, including details such as eligibility, protocol and locations. The National Institutes of Health, private industry and pharmaceutical companies can sponsor studies.
Recovery and prevention
Cauda Equina Syndrome can cause some bladder and bowel functions to be automatic. However, those that are under voluntary control might become impaired. This could mean that you may not be able to know when or how to move your bowels.
The severity of the symptoms and the length of time the nerves have been compressed before the surgery can determine the likelihood of recovery from cauda-equina. People with urinary retention have a lower chance of complete recovery [1,2].
- 90% of those with numbness or tingling in their genital area (incomplete CE) regained normal bladder and bowel function.
- 20 percent of those with bladder retention (complete CES) may experience permanent incontinence or loss of sensation in their pelvic area.
- It may take several months for residual problems to be resolved after surgery. Rehabilitative methods, such as bladder retraining, may be necessary.
Permanent injuries can cause changes in the daily life of those who are affected. Physical therapists can help them learn important self-care skills, including self-catheterization, stress management, and relaxation techniques. A psychiatrist can also be helpful (for those suffering from depression), as well as a support group, a social worker and a sextherapist.
Paralysis of the legs can occur in rare cases.
5 Back Pain Emergencies
Worldwide, lower back pain is a major cause of disability. According to a study, 75-85% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. The most common cause of back pain is a problem in the lower back. This includes the muscles, nerves, and spine.
Back pain can be either acute or temporary and last from a few days to several weeks. Some people develop chronic back pain that can last for up to three months. There are back pain emergencies, which require immediate attention and, at times, surgery. These are some symptoms:
Common Signs and Symptoms of Back Pain Emergencies
- Severe back pain
- Lethargy in the limbs
- Inadequate bladder and bowel control
- Sharp pain in the arms and legs
- Different parts of the body may feel numb or tingling.
Different types of back pain emergencies
Any of the symptoms mentioned above could indicate a back problem.
Accidents or high-energy trauma can cause spinal fractures. It is characterized by severe back pain that worsens with movement. The fracture may cause nerve damage and/or spinal cord dysfunction.
Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES)
Cauda Equina, Latin for “horse’s tail”, is the bundle of spinal neuros at the end the spinal cord. CES is caused by spinal nerve compression, which can also affect the sensory and motor functions of the bladder as well as the lower extremities. CES can lead to permanent paralysis. Symptoms include severe low back pain, motor weakness and pain in one or two legs.
Severe Herniated disc
The shock absorbers are round discs that cushion the bones of the spine. A herniated disc is a disc that has become swollen from excessive strain or sudden injury. A herniated disc is considered a medical emergency in cases of severe pain and discomfort. It can cause lower back pain, severe pain in the legs or arms, loss of bladder control, and numbness, weakness, or tingling sensations in the feet and/or legs.
Metastatic Spinal Cord Compression – MSCC
Metastatic spinal cord compression (MSCC), a common complication of cancer, is often a serious condition that requires immediate care. This happens when cancer cells grow in the spine or press on the spinal cord. It can cause severe neck or back pain, which may be worsened if you cough, sneeze or go to the toilet. Other symptoms include severe back or leg pain, difficulty controlling your bladder or bowel, chest or abdomen pain, and numbness/tingling in various parts of the body. MSCC can lead to paralysis if left untreated.
Vertebral Osteomyelitis, the most common type of spinal infection, can be caused either by trauma to the spine or bacterial or fungal infections that have spread from the blood. An inflammatory reaction can cause damage to the cortex, bone and other structures. This condition can cause severe back pain as well as fever, chills and weight loss.